Regular Meeting of the Faculty Senate

Unapproved Minutes

March 27, 2014

The meeting was called to order at 12:27 p.m.  It is noted that a quorum is NOT present.

  1. At the March 11, 2014, meeting, a motion was made not to adopt the resolution on the question of the New Brunswick commencement speaker as written and instead to draft our own statement with regard to the selection of the New Brunswick commencement speaker and the awarding of an honorary degree.  The motion was approved by voice vote with one no vote and the remainder all in favor

Several handouts were distributed at today’s meeting from various faculty members within the Rutgers community, including a statement from Janet Golden and a statement from Jackson Lears.  Senators began the discussion by noting that the media had drawn incorrect conclusions from our lack of statement.  It was agreed that we needed to respond with a strong statement in support of our New Brunswick colleagues, and voice our opinion on the awarding of honorary degrees and the overall process of selecting commencement speakers.

Several draft responses were discussed and the following resolution was created for vote:

Whereas Dr. Condoleezza Rice condoned, at the very least, the Bush administration’s policy of “enhanced interrogation techniques” such as waterboarding, which is an offense to American law and the Geneva Conventions,

The Rutgers-Camden College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Senate stands with faculty colleagues in New Brunswick and Newark in opposing the decision to award her an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the Rutgers-New Brunswick commencement.

Full faculty participation is essential in the awarding of all honorary degrees.  Therefore, we also call on President Barchi to provide greater transparency and disclose all details of the process by which Dr. Rice was chosen to receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. 

We further call on President Barchi to ensure greater involvement of representative faculty and students in the selection of commencement speakers.

As a quorum was not present, Tyler Hoffman said that he would email the resolution to all senators for an up or down vote and keep the voting period open for 48 hours.  The resolution, if approved, will be distributed to faculty colleagues in New Brunswick and Newark and the Office of Public Information for media distribution.  Tyler will report to the Senators the list of all recipients at a future meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:15p.m.

Present (Senators):  Margery Amdur, Laurie Bernstein, Paul Bernstein, Courtney Cavanaugh, William FitzGerald, Siqi Fu, James Gennone, Osama Hamed, Jean-Louis Hippolyte, Tyler Hoffman, Aaron Hostetter, Haisheng Li, Cyril Reade, Ira Roseman, Robin Stevens, Julie Still

Present (Faculty):  J.T. Barbarese, Jill Capuzzo

Absent:  Alisa Belanger, Grace Brannigan, Kenneth Elliott, Kate Epstein, Michael Fortner, Rajiv Gandhi, Joseph Gerver, Carla Giaudrone, Wayne Glasker, Katrina Hazzard-Donald, Kenneth Hohing, Simeon Kotchoni, Charlotte Markey, Beth Rabinowitz, Bill Saidel, Alexander Samokhvolov, Carol Singley, Lorrin Thomas, Louis Tuthill